Um Hong-gil

Um Hong-gil
Native name
Born (1960-09-14) September 14, 1960 (age 59)
NationalitySouth Korea
Known forbeing the first person to climbing the 14 highest points on Earth
Military career
Service/branchSouth Korea Navy
Years of service1980 - 1983
RankNavy Petty Officer Second Class
Korean name
Revised RomanizationEom Honggil
McCune–Reischauerŏm Homkil

Um Hong-gil (Korean엄홍길; Hanja嚴弘吉; born September 14, 1960) is a South Korean mountaineer.

He has led many South Korean summer expeditions to Mt Aconcagua in Argentina, where he has successfully climbed South America's highest mountain many times.

In 2000, he finally climbed K2 (8,611m), which means his team completed the whole mission to go up 14 peaks higher than 8,000 meters in altitude within 12 years.[1] He tried to climb Mount Everest in September 2005, but failed.[2] He tried again 3 years later and his attempt was successful. He also carried out a mission on Kangchenjunga.

Um Hong-gil has reached the summit of all 14 eight-thousand meters peaks in the world. In fact he is the first person in climbing the 16 highest points on Earth.[3]

He was awarded the Himalayan Crown when he completed the 14 highest peaks in 2001. He is the first South Korean and the eleventh climber in the world to hold this distinction.

He led successful expeditions up Everest in 1988, 2002 and 2003. He has climbed both the North and South Sides of the Everest. Um Hong-gil has stood on top of Everest three times.[4]

On December 13, 2007, he succeeded in reaching the summit of Vinson Massif, the highest peak of Antarctica.[5]

The film 히말라야/The Himalayas was released on December 16, 2015. It was directed by Lee Seok-hoon and starred Hwang Jung-min in the role of Um. The film is based on Um's real life, primarily focusing on his mentorship of two other climbers who later died during an ascent. The film beat the box office battle with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released the same weekend in South Korea.

Charitable activities

Um Hong-gil invested his time with The Beautiful Foundation in his native South Korea. He helped start the program "Gil Sarang Fund" (Loving the Road) in order to support cultural activities for handicapped people.[6]

See also


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